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Where to go in France?

(32 Posts)
babybouncer Fri 03-Jan-14 20:52:37

We want to go somewhere in France in July/August time. It'll be me, DH, kids aged 2 and 5 and 2 or 4 friends from the US (they don't have kids). I've only done Normandy/Brittany before and although I like it, I'd like to go somewhere different.

Where should be good to go to? I need stuff to do with the kids, but also things that will keep the adults entertained and I want to introduce the Americans to all the best bits of France (wine, chateaux, beautiful countryside, croissants, beaches/lakes, food etc).

MuttonCadet Fri 03-Jan-14 20:55:02

Do you want to travel around? Hotels / renting a gite / camping?

Can the kids cope with heat, Southern France can get very hot in July and August.

Will you be driving? What kind of timescale?

Gooseysgirl Fri 03-Jan-14 20:58:22

We went to the Loire Valley with our then 4 month old DD a couple of years ago and stayed here It was fab! Sooo child friendly... stair gates in the gites, boxes of toys, swimming pool, huge picnic area etc Local boulangerie deliver every morning. Friendly and helpful hosts. Lots to do within driving distance.

babybouncer Fri 03-Jan-14 21:03:22

Mutton - we're driving down and meeting the Americans there. We want 2 weeks in a gite. DH is very keen on south, but I am worried about heat - our 5 yr old is a moaner!

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 21:04:23

Provence or the Dordogne.

MuttonCadet Fri 03-Jan-14 21:07:57

We were near Carcassonne a couple of years ago in July and the heat was fierce. So I'd either suggest a gite with a pool of choose a beach resort.

Have you looked at the Riviera, Cannes, Nice etc, very nice towns and Countryside, but with beach front as well.

Just North of the Pyrenees in the Langudoc region is lovely, lots of wine making and only an hour from the coast as well.

sittingbythefairylights Fri 03-Jan-14 21:09:05

Dordogne - beautiful place, great food etc.

MmeLindor Fri 03-Jan-14 21:16:12

I'd avoid Sth of France at that time of the year.

We were in a place called Sablet a few years ago - in Vaucluse - it wasn't in this house but the description of the area is great.

Your DC would like the Ferme aux Crocodiles and the village of Gigondas is gorgeous and very close.

It wasn't too warm - we were there in July. There was always a little breeze. The book festival in the village is wonderful - I think it is every July.

PortofinoRevisited Sat 04-Jan-14 17:37:37

We stayed here in the Dordogne in 2012 and it was fabulous. Loads and loads to do in the local area and very nice food. We also stayed at Logis du Pressoir mentioned above and it is very lovely but found most things were quite a drive away. Great for chilling with the kids, but not so much for sight seeing.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 04-Jan-14 17:42:29

The Jura somewhere near Lac Chalain is great. Ticks any boxes for any holiday other than sea. Castles, wine (though not the best France has to offer, but Burgundy isn't far), lakes, mountains, excellent food and cheese, close to Switzerland and Lake Geneva, beautiful waterfalls and caves to visit. Also pretty towns, gorgeous villages and spectacular scenery. Happy to pm you the link to where we stayed.

PortofinoRevisited Sat 04-Jan-14 17:47:41

Ooh Mme Lindor - that place is kind of what we are looking for this year. We are going to the Ardeche for 2 weeks and I am looking for somewhere to add a 3rd week.

MmeLindor Sat 04-Jan-14 20:20:39

Could you share that place with me? We are thinking about going to Jura sometime. Agree that it is a great area, and Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) is gorgeous.

Check out this place, where we stayed - didn't recommend it cause not great for families with v young kids but would be great for you (and slightly cheaper than the one I recommended). Sablet holiday home.

There is a room on the ground floor with bathroom - this is where the DC slept, master bedroom on second floor with en suite, and then a sweet little attic room.

The master bedroom has a roof terrace where I would sit and read, while listening to the cicadas. It was blissful.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 04-Jan-14 20:48:55

MmeL have sent you a link. We drove over the mountains down to Léman at Nyon. Only for an afternoon but DD1 took her first steps on the little beach we found. So much to do in French Jura though it's only 4ish hours from us and we will be going back this year.

cheekychimp99 Sat 04-Jan-14 21:13:57

We are going back to the Dordogne again this year, staying at which was a MN recommendation from Portofino (thanks Portofino). There is loads to do and see, your American friends will love it so will your kids.

MmeLindor Sat 04-Jan-14 21:19:53

If you go into Geneva, go around the lake to the side where the Jet d'eau fountain is. Walk past the little harbour to Baby Plage. It is the most amazing play area with tyres bound together to climb on.

mscnile Sat 04-Jan-14 21:25:37

I'd do Jura/burgundy at that time of year with young children

PetiteRaleuse Sat 04-Jan-14 22:15:43

Burgundy? I should know this as it's the region almost next To mine (am inAlsace Lorraine so have stopped in Burgundy for lunch en route to elsewhere). What is there to do with kids? Would love ideas for a long weekend but with two toddlers have not thought about Burgundy.

op If you want ideas with lots of WW1 history and good wine, I live in the Moselle (border with Lux, Belgium and Germany) area and can advise. we are 4 hours drive from Calais. Not a touristy area but lots to do.

PortofinoRevisited Sat 04-Jan-14 23:03:29

Ooh cheekychimp I do hope you enjoy it! We had a lovely 2 weeks even though the weather wasn't all that fab. Do let me know if you want some tips of what to do.

PortofinoRevisited Sat 04-Jan-14 23:08:45

Oh and re. Logis de Pressoir already mentioned the zoo at Doue is fabulous - the best I have ever been to. Saumur is nice for a day out too.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 04-Jan-14 23:59:49

Doué zoo is great. Also love the trogladyte villages in that area.

princessalbert Sun 05-Jan-14 23:32:01

We have been to France for our summer trips for the past few years now.

I have enjoyed every place we have stayed.

Brittany - pretty, but the weather was a bit dodgy - even in August.
Llangudoc - near Carcassonne. Loved it. Very, very hot - August again. smile V long drive - but worth it.
Dordogne - very hot. Lots and lots of beautiful scenery - things to visit.
Charente region - beautiful. Plenty of places to drive to, inland lakes for swimming, boats etc Not quite as far a drive from Calais. (been 3 times!)
Loire Valley - loved it. This was last year. A shorter drive (I wasn't v well last year, and didn't want to have to travel as far). Beautiful. Again, inland lakes, lots of chateaux to visit.

What we have done a couple of times is do a two centre holiday. One week in one region, then drive up/down to the next for the second week. Add on a couple of days in Paris - and it makes for an interesting holiday.

In addition - we build in an overnight or two each time to extend the holiday. This year we had two days and nights in Bayeux - exploring the WWII cemeteries and sights.. Really interesting. In previous years we have spent overnights in Rouen, Blois, Vendome. Basically I just pick a town, which I think might have some good restaurants and bit of interest to break our journey. We tend to set off really early on a morning from W Yorkshire, so generally need that time to rest up before the rest of the trip.

babybouncer Mon 06-Jan-14 19:42:13

Thanks for all the ideas! It's making me realise how much I'm looking forward to going! (May need several holidays to fit all this in... oh well!)

cheekychimp99 Mon 06-Jan-14 22:43:46

Hi Porto, this our second visit to Le Banquet, we went last year on your recommendation and loved it, we luckily had really good weather. We thought we would go back again this year because we didn't get to do everything last year.

PortofinoRevisited Mon 06-Jan-14 23:09:51

Dd wants to go back next year. One of ourbest holidays I think.

PortofinoRevisited Mon 06-Jan-14 23:14:05

We are booked for 2 weeks at Les Ranchisses in the Ardeche in july. We normally have 3 weeks to counteract the 9 week Belgian school holidays. Dd wants to go back to La Carabasse for a week. It ticks all the boxes. DH thinks it is in the wrong direction. Grr.

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